Music mogul Russell Simmons was honoured for his commitment to animal rights during a charity gala in New York City on Saturday (03Nov12).

The vegan star was celebrated by members of Mercy For Animals during a fundraiser at Big Apple hotspot Ink48 for his work in encouraging fans to cut meat and dairy products from their diet and forgo fur.

Founder Nathan Runkle told the Wall Street Journal, "Russell is the embodiment of an icon using his status to advocate on behalf of animals and veganism. We're excited to publicly recognise him for everything he's doing to make the world a kinder place."

And Simmons insists he is just glad to be a part of the watchdog group, which conducts undercover investigations to highlight the mistreatment of animals: "Make no mistake; the real heroes are the people risking their lives to expose cruelty. They're damn near called terrorists for filming (at slaughterhouses and farms)!"